Zesty, pungent, aromatic, a bit spicy while looking kinda gnarly. That would be the super spice known as ginger root. Since ancient times, ginger has been used for many medicinal purposes being rich in properties that aid the body & mind. Ginger may be called a root, but it is actually a rhizome. So what is a rhizome?? Well, it’s a dense part of the stem consisting of nodes that roots spring from sinking deeper into the soil.
5 Reasons to Have Ginger in Your Home
- Immune Boosting: Ginger is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, & minerals. It may be a small root but don’t underestimate its capabilities. Some may recommend a glass of orange juice for an immune booster, however, making a ginger drink can do the trick as well. The vast amount of properties in ginger help aid in common sicknesses like colds while also preventing contraction of infections being as excellent anti-bacterial.
- Aids in nausea & headaches: This benefit got me on board with ginger & now I buy it on the reg. I get headaches often & was looking for an alternative method for relief or prevention all together. I started drinking ginger water when I felt the onset of a headache. The ginger soothed my head & has also prevented my headaches from surfacing. Now I zest some into my water bottle & drink ginger infused water pretty much every day. Another common way people drink ginger water is by boiling the water with ginger & adding some lemon & honey to taste.
- Upset stomach: This magical root doesn’t stop at relief from headaches because stomach cramps or an upset stomach can also be soothed with ginger. I have definitely rushed to the medicine cabinet to chomp down a few chalky Tums in hopes of immediate relief. Not a fan. Instead, ginger is my go-to. Ginger contains enzymes which aids cramps & settles upset stomachs. Because of this, consuming ginger on the daily can be beneficial in reducing PMS symptoms while also helping with morning sickness if pregnant.
- Anti-inflammatory: The superpower component in ginger, gingerol, aids in inflammation being beneficial in helping with joint pain or stiffness. Personally, I notice relief in my joints with ginger being incorporated in my diet. Being a high level athlete growing up, I continue to experience joint stiffness regularly so I love being able to aid these areas of my body without having to reach for the ibuprofen.
- It’s just yummy!: There are endless possibilities when it comes to incorporating ginger into you diet!
Tips, Storage, & Uses:
Choosing your ginger: Look for pieces that have fewer nodes, are firm when pressed, & are smooth not wrinkly (the wrinkles indicate dryness)
Storing ginger: It can be stored on the counter for about 1 week. I prefer to keep mine in the fridge as it will last about 2 weeks & I can just cut of pieces as needed. Alternatively, you can make a paste by pureeing the root then freezing it in baggies or an ice cube tray. This method will keep for about 2 months.
Uses: I love the diversity of this spice making it easy to add in sweet or savory dishes. Try it in stir fry, teas, smoothies, baking, marinades, or even candied as a sweet topping. Check out my broccoli & beef recipe for instance!
Go ahead, add some zing & zest into your life!
Source: Wong, C. (2020). Health Benefits of Ginger. https://www.verywellfit.com/health-benefits-of-ginger-89213